It's been nearly a year since protesters began their standoff in Caledonia, but Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice says there is still no end in sight.
The occupation began when aboriginals blocked access to a housing development, claiming it as native land. Negotiations to settle the dispute have moved onto peripheral parts of the claim, but Prentice described the issues involved as "intractable" and "challenging."
"We'd be happy to be further toward the completion," he said in an interview. "But it is a complicated matter. I've always known that it would be a challenging situation that would go on for some time."
Prentice did say the talks had brought some calm to the town, suggesting the situation "could have been far worse" had negotiators not stepped. "If people are patient, we will get this resolved," he said.
The February 28 anniversary date is nonetheless meeting with renewed calls by locals to settle the issue as quickly as possible.
Caledonia residents are calling on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to quicken the pace of negotiations. They've sent 2.5-metre cards to both men, wishing them an "unhappy first anniversary." Source...